HOWELL TOWNSHIP - The owner of a dog fatally shot by a Howell Township police officer says the use of deadly force was not justified.

"You didn't pepper-spray him, which could have been an option," says the dog owner Nina Bisozio. "You could have Tasered him. I mean it got to the point of shooting him three times in the chest?"

Bisozio believes the police officer used excessive force when he shot her 2 1/2-year-old pit bull named Bentley George, and feels he was discriminated against because of his breed. "They wouldn't have shot it if it was a golden retriever in front of my home or if I had a poodle or a border collie," she says.

A woman called police Wednesday night and reported that she had been bitten by the dog. When Bisozio returned to her Susan Court home shortly after 8 p.m., she found Bentley in the yard with gunshot wounds and coughing up blood.

The responding officer says the dog ran out of an open garage door and went after him, making him feel threatened.  His owner says Bentley was running because he was excited.

"My dog wasn't raised aggressively," Bisozio says. "He's gone and I can't seem to understand why."

Police say the officer was not injured.